Tortured prisoner dies in Tibet

11th December 2011

Treatment in detention proves fatal for brave Tibetan

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A Tibetan former political prisoner has died as a result of torture suffered in Chinese detention, it has been reported. Norla Ashagtsang passed away at the end of last year in Lhasa. He was arrested along with his friend Gonpo Dhargyal while protesting against Chinese repression in June 2009. Both men were severely beaten at the time.

Sustained beatings

Norla was imprisoned and subjected to torture. He suffered from a prolonged illness as a result of injuries sustained at this time. Both men were released on medical parole last year. It is common practice for seriously or terminally injured prisoners to be released in order to reduce the number of deaths in detention. According to a reliable source Norla finally “succumbed to Chinese torture” on 27 December. His friend Gonpo is still undergoing treatment but, according to the same source, he is paralysed from the waist down.

Widespread torture

A 2008 UN report found that the use of torture was ‘widespread’ and ‘routine’ in Tibet. Many Tibetans have recounted testimonies of being tortured by Chinese authorities.